To further eliminate hassles and make Zipcar as convenient as possible company

To further eliminate hassles and make zipcar as

This preview shows page 58 - 60 out of 60 pages.

To further eliminate hassles and make Zipcar as convenient as possible, company promotional tactics are designed to appeal to city dwellers. The company’s goal is for Zipsters to not have to walk more than seven minutes to get to one of its car pods—no easy task. “Even with today’s highly targeted Web and mobile technologies, it’s hard to target at that hyper-local level,” says Griffith. “So our street teams do it block by block, zip code by zip code.” Thus, in addition to local ads and transit advertising, Zipcar reps are beating the streets in true guerilla fashion. With its eye sharply focused on maintaining the Zipcar image, the company is consistently developing new features that appeal to tech-savvy urbanites. Recently, the company has shifted its focus a bit from being a Web-based business to being an overwhelmingly mobile concern. Soon, Zipcars will have in-car device holders for smartphones that will allow for easy plug-in and hands-free navigation. The interface between the cars and the users will allow playlists stored on the phone to be played through the car’s audio system. Users will be provided with information specific to the vehicle they are in, a personalized deal recommendation service, and a real-time feedback loop where users can report on vehicle cleanliness, damage, and fuel levels.
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Fostering Brand Community Zipcar’s orientation around the urban, environmentally conscious lifestyle fosters a tight-knit sense of customer community. Zipsters are as fanatically loyal as the hardcore fans of Harley- Davidson or Apple, brands that have been nurturing customer relationships for decades. Loyal Zipsters serve as neighbourhood brand ambassadors; 30 percent of new members join up at the recommendation of existing customers. “When I meet another Zipcar member at a party or something, I feel like we have something in common,” says one Brooklyn Zipster. “It’s like we’re both making intelligent choices about our lives.” And just as Harley owners get together on weekends to ride, the Internet is littered with announcements for Zipster parties at bars, restaurants, and comedy clubs, among other places. As Zipcar has taken off, it has broadened the appeal of its brand to include a different type of urban dweller—businesses and other organizations. Companies such as Google now encourage employees to be environmentally conscious by commuting via a company shuttle and then using Zipcars for both business and personal use during the day. Other companies are using Zipcar as an alternative to black sedans, long taxi rides, and congested parking lots. Government agencies are getting into the game as well. The city of Chicago recently partnered with Zipcar to provide a more efficient and sustainable transportation alternative for city agencies. And Washington, D.C., now saves more than $1 million a year using Zipcar. Fleet manager Ralph Burns says that he has departments lining up. “Agencies putting their budgets together for next year are calling me up and saying, ‘Ralph, I’ve got 25 cars I want to get rid of!’” How is Zipcar’s strategy of positioning itself as an urban lifestyle brand working? By all accounts, the young car-sharing nicher has the pedal to the metal and its tires are smoking. In just
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